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Conveyancing is the transfer of legal title of property from one person to another, or the granting of an encumbrance such as a mortgage or a lien. However, the term may also refer to the movement of bulk commodities or other products such as water, sewerage, electricity, or gas.
A typical conveyancing transaction contains two major landmarks: the exchange of contracts (whereby equitable title passes) and completion (whereby legal title passes). Conveyancing occurs in three stages: before contract, before completion and after completion.
A buyer of real property must ensure that he or she obtains a good and marketable 'title' to the land; i.e., that the seller is the owner, has the right to sell the property, and there is no factor which would impede a mortgage or re-sale.
A system of conveyancing is usually designed to ensure that the buyer secures title to the land together with all the rights that run with the land, and is notified of any restrictions in advance of purchase. In most mature jurisdictions, conveyancing is facilitated by a system of land registration which is designed to encourage reliance on public records and assure purchasers of land that they are taking good title.